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July 01, 2017
By: John Raffel

Alma catcher hitting her stride in in final season




John Raffel

Sports Scene


Emmy VanBlaircum, has enjoyed a strong senior season for Alma's softball team. She's in his fourth season and said it's been her best one.

There's been some neat highlights for VanBlaircum and her teammates so far this season.

“For me and the team, it would be beating Shepherd,” she said. “We have not beaten Shepherd in the four years I've been here and we finally beat them.”

After her first 30 games with the Panthers, VanBlaircum had six doubles, one triple and one home run and 18 RBIs. She's batting .261 with a .277 on-base percentage and .380 slugging percentage.

“I'm hitting a lot better this year than I have previously,” VanBlaircum said. “I hit my first home run this year, too, during the Freeland game. It's from a lot of offseason work, getting in the cages.”

VanBlaircum is in her second season as a catcher.

“I caught half the season last year,” she said. “I've been the catcher again this year.”

Prior to becoming a catcher, VanBlaircum said she had played “everywhere in the infield. It was easy transferring to catcher. I was used to being down and going after the balls. (Coach) asked me to take that spot I volunteered and said I would do it. It took awhile to get comfortable with it. You have to take control.”

But now VanBlaircum feels comfortable at the spot.

“I know the game very well so I know what to do at certain times,” she said.

“The team so far is doing all right. We've had some team chemistry problems. But we working on it. It's been a young team. We have two seniors and the rest are mostly sophomores.”